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Wastewater Treatment Facility Solar Electric System

During the past four years, the one-megawatt solar photovoltaic system at the Wastewater Treatment Facility has generated more than six million kilowatt-hours of electricity, saving utility ratepayers more than $200,000. The system began generating clean, renewable power in August 2010 and has operated efficiently and reliably ever since, producing about 14 percent of the facility’s annual power needs.

If that same power had been generated from coal, the emissions would have produced approximately 9,687,000 pounds of carbon dioxide; 12,000 pounds of sulfur dioxide; and 12,000 pounds of nitrous oxide. This is equivalent to the emissions produced by cars traveling about 293,000 miles.

The Wastewater Treatment Facility is the largest energy consumer among municipal facilities, using approximately 30,000 kilowatt-hours per day. About 35 percent of the facility’s annual electricity consumption is produced by renewable energy from cogeneration and solar power.

Background

In 2007, the City of Boulder worked with EyeOn Energy Ltd., a local company, to serve as the lead solar developer of a one-megawatt solar photovoltaic (PV) system with funding from Xcel Energy's Solar Rewards Program.

EyeOn Energy was awarded a solar renewable energy credit contract from Xcel Energy that subsidized the project and enabled the city to purchase renewable energy at an affordable rate. EyeOn entered into a power purchase agreement with the city to provide power for a 20-year period.

EyeOn Energy contracted with SOLON Corp. to design, build and supply the project's PV modules. Midway through construction, SOLON assumed ownership of the facility and completed construction. Upon completion, Sun Edison Corp. purchased the facility from SOLON and currently owns, operates and maintains the solar power system.

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Project Sponsors and Development Team

  • City of Boulder
  • EyeOn Energy Ltd. 
  • Xcel Energy
  • SOLON Corp.
  • Hartman Ely Investments
  • Krishe Construction
  • Lord & Reynolds Electric
  • Sun Edison
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